Coroner candidates stress professionalism

In the Nov. 8 general election, the Jackson County coroner’s race pits a political newcomer against a former county coroner asking voters to return him to office.

The winner of the race between Republican Mike Bobb and Democrat Andy Rumph will have the responsibility of dealing with one of the two constants in life that statesman Benjamin Franklin once talked about — death. The other was taxes.

The two candidates come to the table with different backgrounds.

Rumph was county coroner from 2001 to 2008 and also spent seven years in law enforcement as a reserve officer with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and an officer with the Seymour Police Department. He now is the director of a Seymour funeral home.

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Bobb has been an associate director of information technology for Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals.

Bobb said he believes his experience with information technology in a stressful environment will help him to be able to look at evidence during death investigations from a different viewpoint and make solid decisions based on this evidence.

Rumph said his motivation for seeking the coroner’s office stems from his desire to continue upgrading the office. That’s work he said he started in 2000, and that continues today under the leadership of Democrat Roger Wheeler.

Wheeler is wrapping up his second term as coroner, and state law limits the coroner to two consecutive terms.

Bobb said he just wants to become more involved in government.

Both of the candidates said they believe the position needs someone who is capable of treating the deceased with the respect and dignity they deserve with a focus on compassion and professionalism.

Wheeler earned $10,048 for his work as a coroner in 2015, but he also is a supervisor with Jackson County Emergency Medical Services.

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Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at apiper@tribtown.com or 812-523-7057.